On Wednesday morning, all of the pollsters and analysts hung their heads in disbelief, having underestimated Donald Trump for the final time. After having been proven wrong by Trump’s insurgent movement at every turn in the Republican primaries, not a single one of them thought he could bring it home on election night. For as satisfying as his victory was for all of us who want to make America great again, watching the media try to figure out what went wrong was just as enjoyable.
Over the past month, everyone from the New York Times to Politico to the Huffington Post assured us that there were no “hidden” Trump voters being missed by the polling organizations. They were wrong. The polls weren’t so far off the mark as to be ridiculous, but they drastically underestimated the enthusiasm driving the Trump phenomenon. They underestimated the degree to which Trump’s message resonated with Americans who gave up caring about politics a long time ago. They failed to realize that 2016 was the year the term “likely voter” became utterly meaningless.
But perhaps more than that, the pundit class – caught in their coastal bubble – couldn’t wrap their heads around the fact that millions of Americans feel left behind. How desperately they want to see a bullish job market return to our shores. How sick they are of politicians who promise the world and deliver the sewer. How fed up they are with the astounding arrogance of the D.C. establishment on both sides of the aisle.
Furthermore, they didn’t quite understand the fear that has gripped much of conservative America. They talk about it, but they don’t understand it. They think it has something to do with racism or sexism or whatever -ism they invent next. They can’t step back and see how far left this country has swerved over the last eight years. Bam, bam, bam. Gay marriage, amnesty, Black Lives Matter, social justice warriors, Caitlyn Jenner, Obamacare, etc. It just kept coming, and while San Francisco liberals cheered, heartland conservatives looked on in horror.
Donald Trump came on the scene and began speaking directly to Americans who have been ignored by both parties for far too long. And those Americans gladly gave him the presidency in return.